Plant & Works Engineering
Optimism about export prospects
Published:  05 March, 2010

Optimism about export prospects

Small and medium-sized manufacturers are starting to benefit from the relative weakness of Sterling, with overseas orders stabilising after seven quarters of decline, according to the CBI. Manufacturing production also steadied, but is expected to fall in the next quarter as overall demand remains weak.

Of the 418 firms surveyed for the CBI's quarterly SME Trends Survey, 27% said the volume of export orders rose in the three months to January, while 25% said it fell. The resulting balance of +2% is the strongest figure since January 2008 (+12%).

Export orders are expected to grow more strongly in the next quarter (a balance of +8%), and firms are the most optimistic about export prospects for the year ahead since October 1995 (+15%).